Wow. These last few weeks of December - I knew they were going to be busy, but man oh man, they were more than we bargained for, for sure!!!
Right after our trip to Iowa, we kicked off such a fabulous week of celebrating Christmas with our Christmas Eve festivities...and then it was CHRISTMAS morning. My oh my. Of course our children both slept in on Christmas morning. That would happen, for sure. But once little man woke up and came down to see what Santa brought him - it was so much fun!
They each got four gifts from us: something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read. Well - sorry Maddie - she only had 3 of those to open and the other was in her stocking and technically something that I wanted (a teething necklace), but she did really really want it.
Fun things about buying books for your kids that have somewhat common names - you can buy books with their names in them! Charlie got a few more Charlie the Ranch Dog books by Pioneer Woman (he LOVES the one he has) and Maddie got a Madeline loves Animals book - I cannot wait to get her a Madeline doll too! What else was so fun?? Charlie was SO excited about every present. It was hilarious! He opened it and ran around our house showing it to us and my parents.
Santa delivered for Charlie this year too. He brought this boy a BIKE people. Santa actually brought cousin Will this same bike last year, but Will did not quite figure out the bike or like it, so Santa just transferred it - and that transfer was quite the success!!
What did Charlie WANT?? TINKER TOYS. This kid loves them at school and even though he pretty much hated seeing Santa, when you asked him what he wanted from Santa...it was Tinker Toys. So parents for a WIN.
Then he gave Nana and Papa a little present and had so much fun!
Then we spent some time playing with toys and trying to learn how to operate the bike, while little sister took a nap. And ate sausage roll, of course. My mom's Christmas morning specialty. Then we got ready and went over to my grandmother's house to eat with my mom's side of the family over there. Two of my cousins, my uncle and my grandparents were there, so it was fun to see them on Christmas Day!!
Maddie is looking a little skeptical of this whole bunch...
Then it was home for Charlie's nap so he could rest up for ANOTHER Christmas. Lucky kid and tired parents!!!
After nap it was time to head to Jimmy's parents house. I love this tradition of Christmas night. We ended up having delicious brisket meal (enchiladas are being saved for Sue's birthday - YUM).
This Carter bunch. Charlie pulled his typical self - attached to Jimmy and I and a little whiny - for the first hour or so while his cousins had a great time and played. But after his initial stage - he was having so much fun with his cousins, as always!
We exchanged gifts before dinner (cousins exchanged gifts and got presents from Grana and Pops and then adults exchanged gifts from a drawing too!). And it's just so fun seeing all the kiddos light up when they get their gifts. From Frozen items, to scrapbooking stuff, to sports bands...so fun!!
Maddie and I were tucked away in the corner - sweet girl was TIRED!!!
If you cannot tell from the second picture...and this last one...we had our hands full with Charlie wanting to open presents!! He was everywhere and didn't want to wait his turn.
But at least he got to open Maddie's presents for her.
It was so so fun to hang out with everyone and see all the fun gifts that we all picked out for each other!! What stinks was that Christmas was on a Thursday night and I had to go to work bright and early Friday morning. So fun, right? Oh yeah. So we headed home and put the kiddos to bed after a fun day - and Maddie's first Christmas and Charlie's first Christmas that he actually understood what was going on!
Overall, it was a fast day and tiring, but worth seeing the magic of Christmas through our sweet kiddos eyes!
But oh WAIT - it didn't end there! After working on Friday, Jimmy and I hosted my high school girlfriends and their spouses for dinner at our house while our kiddos were over spending the night at Nana and Papa's. We had a good time with our friends (and weird being in our house without our kids) and then that night headed over to my parents to sleep...then we all woke up that next morning (my sister and her boyfriend, Casey) were back in town and opened presents with my family. And boy did we all get spoiled! They bought our kiddos way too much stuff and some funny things too - including my sister getting us a huge blow up santa wiener dog!! Oh my!
And- my mom got my sister and I the Ready Grill. I was so so excited!!! We saw these on an infomercial when we were in Iowa and then my mom found them for so cheap at kohls! Now my whole family has them. My sister has made a bunch and loved it- I cooked some breaded and stuffed chicken that turned out ok, but doing steak Thursday night!!
My parents were ridiculously generous this year and we are excited to use some of the money they gave us to get a professional landscape design so we can start saving for some outdoor projects at our house the next few years!
Breakfast with Papa eating Rice Krispies - might have been this kid's favorite part of this sleepover!
Maddie enjoyed playing with some of her brothers toys- Olaf and his drum!
Overall oh my goodness it was all so fun to see the Christmas spirit come alive through their eyes. And getting to spend time with our families. While we see them often, getting extra time is so fun!
It was a bit of a let down after the CHristmas celebrations were over and it was back to work for us - but our kiddos got to have fun with my parents Monday - Wednesday that week because their school was closed. That meant a trip to Little Monkey Bizness, coming to eat lunch at mom's work and playing in the Barbie room at Nana and Papa's house. Charlie was devastated every time it was the end of the day because he didn't want them to go home - so sweet! I got sick on NYE (BOO!) so our plans with Vanessa and her family were canceled because I didn't want to get her family and baby Nash sick. So sad because I was really looking forward to it!
But here we are - in January already friends!! So crazy and hope you all had a great holiday season too!!